Who is Artemis Kerridge?


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For those who have been watching the saga of Artemis Kerridge, kindly old grandmother type, arguing with the big boys about determinism and mind &c on Rebirth of Reason, you may not be aware that Artie's true identity has just been revealed.

She is I.

Here is the announcement I posted in Artemis' Profile page on RoR:

A confession: my real identity is Roger Bissell. I took on the persona of "Artemis Kerridge" as an experiment, to see whether I was right in thinking that my views were being disregarded or negatively responded to because of who I was perceived to be. By presenting essentially the same views in the persona of a kindly elderly woman, I was able to test this hunch and, not surprisingly, found that I was correct. "Artemis" was giving considerably more slack than I have been, regarding the issues of mind-body, freewill-determinism, and materialism.

I also found that by trying to couch my views in the personality of another person, that I was able to gain new clarity and insights in these areas that I had not reached before. It was similar, in effect, to empathizing or putting oneself in someone else's shoes, to try to adopt their perspective and see if the world looked different than from one's own. I think it was a very useful exercise.

Some may regard this as nothing but a practical joke (at best) or a despicably dishonest attempt to subvert RoR (at worst). I think I had a valid purpose, and I was not trying to humiliate anyone or present views I did not hold. In my profile, I deliberately avoided giving the impression that I was available or looking for anyone.

Some may regard this as a cruel hoax, making RoR members get false hope that there was a new, fresh mind from which interesting perspectives could be gained. Well, the truth is that that mind was always there, but that some RoR members have pre-judged it and become skeptical as to the worth of its views. Yet, when those same views were presented as emanating from a more "acceptable" person, they became worthy of consideration. I think this is very instructive, something that RoR members should ponder.

Finally, for those who are curious, here is how I created my persona's name. Artemis, of course, is the Greek equivalent of the Roman goddess Diana. "Kerridge" is a phonetic respelling of "carriage," and one type of carriage is a shay, which phonetically respelled is...(do I really need to say it?). My biggest regret in pulling the plug on this persona is that it was such a satisfying little joke on my favorite born-again Randroid. :-)

But we must move onward. I realize this will have ramifications on how I am treated here at RoR, and I probably did not improve my situation. But I learned (or verified) something important about how my ideas are received, with and without bias, and I trust that others at RoR learned something about the effects of bias, as well. If more objectivity and open-mindedness results, it will have been worth it.

It struck me that what I was doing was similar, in a way, to Nathaniel Branden's attempt on Diana's blog to get her to take a more objective attitude in explaining her severe differences with Nathaniel. He goofed in posting his alter ego's comments, and Diana roundly reamed him for it, to the cheers of the assembled rowdies at Noodle Food.

No doubt some will equate me with Nathaniel and take my revelation that I was faking Artemis' existence as all the proof they need of what a "dishonest prick" &c. that I am. Others will smile and shrug it off as just a harmless experiment or practical joke. However people decide to regard my actions on RoR, I hope I have made myself clear in why I did it. I don't think I broke any rules or laws, but the point was made, so the masquerade is over.

REB

P.S. -- It was fun. Artie was a hoot. :-)

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Roger,

Dayaamm!

:D

Count me in as one who enjoys a practical joke at times. That was a beauty. Expect a few grumpy people over there, though.

Dayamm, that was thoroughly enjoyable - and you made people review these ideas in a new light.

One thing was funny, though. Earlier today, on the phone with Kat, she asked me what I thought of Ms. Artemis and I told her it smelled an awful lot like a goof. But I had no idea who it was. It just didn't "feel" right. Now I just read your confession. I'm glad to see I'm not crazy.

btw - Is that picture of Artemis what you look like in drag?

Michael

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Bicentennial Man listed as a favorite film in Artemis' extended profile was what had confirmed my suspicion that you were in drag again, Roger. I know of no one else who recommends the film (I haven't seen it, but now that I know that a kindly elderly woman like Artie regards it as a favorite, perhaps I should rent it soon). I had gotten the Diana part but not the carriage/shay/Hsieh bit -- I was assuming that that part of the joke was merely a typical Bissell groaner: Ms. Kerridge = miscarriage (Diana Miscarriage, or something like that).

Anyway, it was fun to watch while it lasted, you evil, dishonest prick. :-)

Best,

J

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Jonathan wrote: "it was fun to watch while it lasted, you evil, dishonest prick. :-) "

Hey, I represent that remark! :---) Not surprisingly, I am already being compared to NB, even to the point of comparing my commandeering the materialism and determinism discussions for several days to NB's getting Rand to "counsel" him for months on various phantom psychological problems.

And yes, it was fun, but also kind of disappointing in a way, because Artemis ended up having to do a lot more of the work in developing the arguments than "she" should have had to. The guys really did seem a bit "careful" in dealing with her and her point of view. Whether because "she" was a newbie -- or a woman -- or a kindly elderly woman -- or whatever, really doesn't matter.

The bias issue was what intrigued me the most. They treated Artemis and "her" ideas differently than they would have treated me, presenting the same ideas. I have been subject to much snottiness and ridicule and condescension on SOLO and RoR, but there was (almost?) none of that in responses to Artemis's posts.

And there's additional proof of it in the aftermath. V-e-r-y interesting, isn't it -- how tunes changed before-and-after? Before the confession, Artemis' posts were "thought-provoking," etc., which is definitely a good thing, right? Then afterward, at least one of the complimenters opined how it was such a "waste of time" to have to go through all the arguments again. Which is really outrageous, when you consider that he hid for several years behind the name "Morganis Chamlo" on wetheliving.com Arrrrrgh!

I'm glad that you two picked up on the facade. Artemis, to those who know Greek mythology, was a direct hint that a goof was in progress. The "Ms. Kerridge" part was due to a glitch in my own understanding of how to set up Artemis's account. I thought it was a salutation for how the system would greet Artemis when she logged on -- which is why I added "Kerridge" to the "Ms." part. I didn't realize it would glom together with "Artemis Kerridge" to make the hideous long...thing...that appeared each time "she" posted.

As for the photo, that was a pic of one of my dear friends from the world of personality type theory. She would probably shoot me for using her image in this little experiment, but odds were very small that anyone would recognize her and wonder "what the hell?" Incidentally, she is the kind of person who, if she knew Objectivism to the rough extent that we do, would probably have argued a lot the same way I did as Artemis. She is colorful, probing, and willing to admit a mistake and try again -- unlike some of her opponents in the discussion!

My only regret in all this is that it ended before I had a chance to introduce Artemis's husband, Sol, to the list. (Sol = Saul, which is the original name of Paul, the Apostle. Sol Kerridge = Paul Hsieh. :lol:

Well, back to reality. Let's see how we can go about living happy lives, rather than living in the charades of approval- and status-seeking Objectivist wannabees.

Your friend,

Lilah Kerrug

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Very funny! Like Michael I felt there was something not right about that lady. I just couldn't imagine her writing such long and complex posts about consciousness or whatever it was, although I hadn't thought of an impersonation. Hm, perhaps I should change into a beautiful woman on that forum, I'd probably earn more Atlas points that way than as an irritating insect...

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That's odd, Dragonfly -- I hadn't thought of you as an insect!

Seriously, isn't it amazing that people fell all over themselves to give consideration and Atlas Points to Artemis. Why do you suppose? Because she was basically non-threatening?

Speaking of insects, after a while, I got kind of "bugged." Artemis was racking up points way faster than I did!

I did learn a few things about communicating -- about being more of a person, less of a disembodied intellect. But I also got an eyeful of seeing how much more open (especially) men are to women posters than they are to other men. Do you suppose it's a testosterone, competition thing?

Definitely food for thought in that little experiment.

REB

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That would be a gerophile, Michael.

By the way, my maternal grandfather was named Roger O'Phile. Do you believe that? OK, how about: my stage name used to be Petey Atrix when I performed for youngsters, and Jerry Atrix when I performed for Senior Citizens. Not buyin' it? Ooooo-kay.

But seriously, are you saying that I exposed some kinkiness on RoR of guys toward older women? I don't think they take too kindly toward guys pretending to be older women. :-)

REB

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Roger,

Well, from what I saw between the lines, you sure rang a few ding-a-lings over there. It gave me goosebumps. //;-))

btw -The two craziest names I have encountered:

One was Harry Butz, who was orphan Harry and adopted by the Butz family. My father used to work with this guy. Also, I just Googled the name to find out if there were any others and I see that the Internet is full of Harry Butz.

The other name was in Portuguese. I had a very dear friend, Vicente Cechelero (now deceased), who was a brilliant gay poet. The name of his father was "Delírio," which does not translate well into English as "Delirium" (false cognate). It better translates as "Ecstasy" or "Bliss."

Vicente, at strategic moments, used to solemnly proclaim, "Eu sou filho do Delírio!" It was hilarious the way he did it. (Translated - "I am the son of Bliss!")

I think this name, though, was a component of his inner turmoil, as he was one neurotic dude.

Michael

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Roger, that was a wonderful stunt. You should have also listed Mrs. Doubtfire as a favorite movie, too, but that may have given it away. I don't know if people over there were nicer because you were in drag. I highly doubt it. I think it is more of a case of a newbie who hasn't made many enemies yet.

They are certainly not hesitant to attack women over there; both Barbara and I can attest to that. First you are in their good graces, then BAM! you are the most evil creature that ever walked the face of the earth. I've had all kind of badasses tying to jump down my throat over my somewhat moderate political positions, as well as that awful opinion poll and other threads attacking Michael and I for purring too loudly. With the exception of OL, Objectivist forums are not female friendly at all.

Anyhoo, back to humor.... My contribution on this Superbowl Sunday for silliest name is....

DICK BUTT-KISS

I always have to smile when I hear the name Dick Butkus of da Bears. Maybe it's the Chicago accent, but dayaaaaammmm it sure is funny!

Also, why would anyone use the name DICK when they could be RICH? Go figure...

Kat

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Dragonfly -- thank you for your non-bombastic, non-condescending comment. It is a model of where we ought to aim in our own posts. :-)

But "gerontophil(e)," wow -- that makes no sense, if the correlative term for attraction to children is "pedophile." I was modeling "gerophile" after "pedophile," on the grounds that if the latter was relat3ed to "pediatric," then the former would be related to "geriatric," not "gerontology." Oh well, live and learn...

Kat -- thanks for the humorous rendering of Dick Butkus's name. Being a musician, I had heard it before, but it always makes me break into an involuntary grin. :-)

BTW, as for why would someone use "Dick" when they could instead use "Richard," you're not going to believe this, but my great-grandparents, Richard and Frances Bissell (both c. 1850 - 1925), were known in the community (Massena, Iowa, where I was born) as "Dick and Fanny." No, Dick Butkus was not their love child. :-) They would probably have been mortified at the connotations we 20th-21st century folk put on their names.

REB

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Well, I'm not sure what you were smoking, Roger, but if you get anymore of it, get hold of me to have a modest shipment sent over to Cleveland- me and the boys in the band might just have to break protocol in the name of psychotropically-induced spiritual expansion, as limited as that might be.

I knew right away it was crooked, and I don't see how anyone would think otherwise, unless they are a fresh ripe turnip that just got loaded onto the truck.

And that's the hellishly funny part of it; the care, the near-fawning. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

For some reason, the part that really ripped me up was there in the thick of it, and you came back with some reflections after your evening walk (about the moors, in a yellow slicker and boots, no doubt). That was just precious- sitting there typing (IMac, no doubt) and enjoying a bit of clover tea by the fireplace.

The ethical outrage, Roger. The pain, the dishonesty, Roger. The breach of trust!

I think it's COURT HOLDING TIME, my misguided neo-Objectivist brother!

What you should have done to ice it was have an essay loaded in the chamber. You know, something deeply metaphysical to the point of non-conprehension. Or maybe just something like "Do Objectivists Fart?"

So wrong, on so many levels. They're going to need one of those adult check things like on the porno sites.

Jesus Mary and Joseph, dude.

rde

There is no escape from The Spanish Inquisition

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Kat, not to be a wimp or party pooper, but if I went ANYWHERE in drag, my poor wife would disown me. Something about her ex-husband and his odd habits...

Rich, I'm so glad you understand. No doubt there is a great deal I must still do in order to atone. It may be that I have gone over the edge in spiritual corruption to where I am not fit for friendship with proper Objectivists any more. Present company excepted, of course. :-)

REB (AKA AK)

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